The Ethics Of The Hippocratic Oath

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Introduction From the first time that the Hippocratic Oath was used among Greek physicians practice Hippocratic Medicine, it was clear that life, including that of the unborn child (fetus) deserved protection in medicine. The paragraph four of the Oath stated: “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan, and similarly to give a pessary to cause an abortion” (North, 2002). Centuries later, many nations adopted their abortion laws, at times forcing their physicians to perform abortion as a treatment procedure of a ‘disease’ called ‘pregnancy.’ Some states or nations even ventured at specifying the biomedical boundaries to exercise such ‘treatment.’ One such biomedical boundary is genetic defect. In…show more content…
Then, I will also anticipate the potential refutation of the abortion proponents to my arguments. Arguments for abortion Despite assurances, the risk for fetal defects due to chromosomal aberration remains, physically (tallness, low fertility, infertility, and breast enlargement), mentally (potential manic-depressive problems), and behaviorally (tendency towards behavioral disorders). Purdy (1995) argued that every child should be provided with at least a minimally satisfying life, and genetic defect and its physical, mental and behavioral consequences cannot provide that level of satisfying life. Otherwise, the child will be socially outcast among the “defectives,” she will feel unloved, feels resentment for the short end that her birth had given her. The mother also will blame herself for giving birth to her, watching her suffer from such burdensome conditions. Her descendants too will be burdened with her genetic defects and the resultant woes. Purdy (1995) also insisted that, until there are assurances and certainties that the risks are not going to happen, it is the moral duty of the mother to not bring defective babies into the world, and burden the society for their care. Lippman (1991) noted that people do not believe society has an obligation to adjust their lives to the comfort of disabled people. The society has the right for public health, which can only be achieved through a reduction if not elimination to the birth frequency of children with genetic
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